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5 from 6 votes
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
A great party mix that will remind you of turtles candy.
Course: chocolate, Snack
Author: Cravings of a Lunatic
For the Caramel Sauce ( make in advance):
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of vanilla salt
For the Tailgate Mix:
  • 2 cups mini pretzels
  • 2 cups chex cereal
  • 2 cups crunch an munch caramel popcorn
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 cups chocolate cheerios
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
Optional: 2 cups m & m candies (do not mix in until after mix has cooled)
For the Caramel Sauce (make in advance):
  1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Do NOT stir and bring to a boil, let it cook until it goes a nice amber colour. You can lightly swish or swirl the pan but do NOT stir at this point.
  3. Once the liquid is amber in colour remove from heat and add butter. Swish it around until it melts.
  4. Add the cream and remember it's going to bubble up as caramel does, so make sure you are careful and your pan is big enough to handle it.
  5. Whisk until mixed.
  6. Add vanilla and vanilla salt and whisk until smooth.
  7. Set aside to let cool.
For the Tailgate Mix:
  1. Combine all your dry ingredients (pretzels, cereal, popcorn, pecans and cheerios) into a large roasting pan, except for the m & m's, those go in later once things cool. Stir them up. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine your butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then let it boil for about 3 to 5 minutes. It will become thicker.
  3. Toss in the chocolate and whisk until it melts and mixture is smooth and slightly thick. Set aside for about 5 minutes to cool a bit.
  4. Now whisk the mixture then pour over the dry ingredients you have in the roasting pan. Give it a really good stir so you coat everything evenly.
  5. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment.
  6. Transfer your mixture to the cookie sheet and pop in a preheated 200 degree oven for 30 minutes. Make sure you stir the mixture half way through the cooking process.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave out to dry further and cool. About an hour should be good. And this is where you will learn how tough you are. It will be really hard not to just bury your head in the chocolate goodness you are smelling right now but resist people. Trust me.
  8. Once the popcorn is cool, you want to make sure it's spread evenly on parchment on cookie sheet(s).
  9. Now warm your caramel just a touch. You don't want it scorching hot but warm enough to drizzle, not hot enough to shrink the other ingredients. Drizzle over the mixture. You can let it dry then flip the mix over and drizzle again if you like.
  10. Pop back in a 200 degree oven for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.
  11. Let cool on pans.
  12. Add m & m's if desired. And let's be honest, who doesn't desire m & m's. Mix it all up.
  13. Enjoy with a big old I hate football smile!
Recipe Notes

You could totally half the chocolate mixture you pour over top. I tend to go a little over the top with these things.
Or you could double the dry ingredients. My chocolate to dry ratio is a bit high.
You can change up the dry stuff and use whatever you love. If you hate pretzels don't use them. If you prefer cashews use them. Be creative.